October 31, 2015

#Halloween in #Miniature 2015- 5 - Happy Halloween!

  * Today is Day 5 of Halloween in Miniature 2015!

* Go to Day 1  * 

I hope you enjoyed the stories and miniatures from this year's contributors. Here's a little more about them and their work.

* Patricia Paul is well known for her unique and spooky miniatures, along with some other amazing creations. She also is a Fellow with the International Guild of Miniature Artisans (IGMA). Visit her on Pinterest or on Facebook.

I have interviewed Patricia before, including in last year's Halloween in Miniature. Patricia has been working in miniature for over 35 years and first made her a son a haunted house when he was nine.

 "That is where the skeletons started," she says. "He was fascinated with skeletons and so the house had to have one.  And of course, Harry Potter books were a big deal around here and we got the books as soon at they came out and saw all the movies. Which is why I have a miniature Leaky Cauldron."

These days, with the kids all grown, she's admitted to doing some clearing out. But she still has some favorites.  "I have tons of Halloween decorations and I have a special fondness for pumpkins for some reason and have a pumpkin collection, which is odd, I know. (Also a miniature pumpkin collection.) I don’t do much decorating or celebrating Halloween since my kids are grown. It was really painful when they lost interest around their teens, I can tell you. And I just recently packed up a bunch of Halloween decoration items for The Salvation Army. Also painful. Everything I’ve ever let go of has claw marks on it, and Halloween stuff is particularly difficult. But I can’t keep everything. I just noticed a storage room I have in the basement is full of Halloween stuff. Which is staying." 

Her own collection includes a family of Vampire dolls by Kay Shipp.  She says, "I would love to do a roombox for them. I have an empty castle front box or an empty radio case that looks like a gothic something or other might work. It could also become The Room of Requirement from Harry Potter fame. Pile of wizardy stuff dusty and aged sounds like a fun project. I keep making things and then selling them, so I have nothing left for my own projects. But, there are plenty of talented people out there I can collect from."

Her current projects include some cool haunted furniture with sculpted gargoyles and skulls, and some upholstered with goth/haunted fabrics of her own design.

* * * 

  * Joanna Campbell Slan is known for her fun Kiki Lowenstein mysteries (the latest is Shotgun, Wedding, Bells (A Kiki Lowenstein Scrap-N-Craft Mystery Book 11) the  and Cara Mia mystery series and short fiction. 

She also is a contributor and editor of the Happy Homicides: Thirteen Cozy Holiday Mysteries - (yes, it includes a story about a dollhouse!!) 

She also loves miniatures! Check out her Pinterest page.

(Haunted house bedroom)

Joanna really enjoys the creative end of making miniatures.  She likes seeing what she can do herself. It's always fun seeing what she came up with, or what she's used to make something else!

I love the colors (and the creature!) in her miniature Haunted House. She's also created a fun Valentine's project and was recently working on a surfboard shop. See her blog for more photos. 

What's interesting is that the Haunted House is Joanna's first official house, even though she's loved miniatures since she was a child building fairy houses in the base of an oak tree. But even then her creative streak was evident: "I dragged home an old TV console and tried to turn it into a dollhouse, but my parents tossed it out. Then my first husband made one, but it was pretty rudimentary, and I did do a little in the way of making bread dough food, but I didn't dare tackle furniture. Then my current--and FINAL, forever--husband bought me a huge dollhouse, which I sent to T & D dollhouses to have electrified and furnished, but I never really got to play with that because real life intervened. We moved to a smaller home and had to sell that one. I was so sad."

She's now making up for it with her recent creations and having a blast doing it, we might add.

* * * 

* UK dollmaker and IGMA Artisan Julie Campbell has been making her delightful, hand-carved polymer clay miniature figures for over 14 years and gets better each year! I especially enjoyed her take on actresses Bette Davis and Joan Crawford from my favorite movie, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? See photos here. Read more about Julie in a past magazine interview I did - see Belle link on my website Miniatures page.

I love the whimsical expression on her witch's face!

* * * 

Nancy Cronin is another favorite miniature dollmaker who makes her own hand-sculpted figures. She certainly has a way with the  spooky figures. Check out her assorted ghosts and witches!

* * * 
Christine Verstraete loves making miniatures and writing about them.  She's had articles published in various newspapers and magazines, both in the miniatures field and elsewhere. 

She also is author of In Miniature Style II,  (in print and ebook) which includes profiles of various miniaturists and photos of their work, along with more than 40 how-to projects. Her first ebook, In Miniature Style now has a new cover and is on Kindle. It includes a selection of projects not included in the second book.

 Here is a photo of the partial living room of the small Haunted Cottage she just finished.

Also done is a Fortuneteller's Room made in a small greenhouse. More photos will be published soon. She is now working on a half-scale garage and yard sale.

    ** Christine also writes short fiction and is author of the young adult book, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie by C.A. Verstraete. 

Here's an excerpt: 

I couldn't help it and stepped back, glad Carm wasn't around to see my reaction.
   The longer my cousin took to get her water
(where'd she go, Lake Michigan?), the more nervous I became, especially when Spence twisted around and gave a low moan.  His fingers twitched. He kicked out a foot and made a funny low growl. 
   Not good.
   I slid back a few more inches to put some distance between us and wondered what was taking her so long. "Carm?"
   Where was she?
   My attempt to lean backward and peek through the doorway made me lose my balance and bang my arm on the doorframe. I staggered, ending up where I'd started. From the corner of my eye, I saw something move and jumped.
   I turned and took a sharp intake of air. Spence and I gazed eye to eye. He sat up, made another unintelligible growl, and grabbed for me. I screamed and yelled, but he stared straight ahead and right through me as if I wasn't there. My heart pounded so hard I swore my shirt fluttered. I panted, becoming more frantic, as he scratched and clawed at me.
   "Spence, stop-stop!" I yelled. "Carm, help!"
   The minutes felt like hours. I didn't know how much longer I could keep him at bay when my cousin ran in and yelled.
    Finally, he did. A second later, he peered at me and back at Carm like he didn't know either one of us....

Coming Soon: 
  New stories about my part-zombie girl character from the GIRL Z book are coming out in the anthology, Young Adventurers: Heroes, Explorers and Swashbucklers -up for pre-order Nov. 1. (See Facebook page.) 

** My character Becca is also in a  new short mystery, "The Almost Ruined Thanksgiving," which will be published in the November issue of Mystery Weekly. Sign up for the free newsletter to read the story.  

*** Check the website or the GirlZombieAuthors blog for updates!! 

Thank you again for stopping by this year's Halloween in Miniature event. Come back next year and be sure to stop by my other blog and website above.